Mature Rowan Tree (Photo: Laurie Campbell)
With their branched leaves, white blossom and red berries the Rowan is an unmistakable tree, often found growing on crags and around the edges of lochs and burns.
Rowan Foliage & Floweres (Photo: Laurie Campbell)
In the past it was believed that Rowans would ward off witches and fairies and for this reason they were often planted around houses. Even now it in not uncommon to see single trees or small stands of Rowan growing close to old croft houses or black house ruins.
Rowan berries attract many birds and are a particularly important food source for thrushes such as redwings when they arrive in the autumn after a long flight from Scandinavia. In eating the berries the birds are doing the rowan a service by spreading the seeds. The rowan seeds pass through the digestive system of the birds and are carried by the birds until they are deposited in the bird’s droppings. For this reason Rowan saplings are often found growing and out of mounds and promontories that birds use for perching.
Rowan Berries (Photo: Laurie Campbell)
By Robin Reid